The Los Angeles Rams finally have some semblance of a run game in the offense. Kyren Williams’ performance against the Arizona Cardinals showed what the offense can be when the run and pass come together and when the running back that the offense is designed for is able to play.
Sunday’s game against the Cardinals was the third time in four games that Williams has gone over 100 yards. The Rams are 3-0 in those games. While that’s not necessarily a causation for why the Rams are winning, it’s also a testament to how effective Williams has been as a runner.
Maurice Jones-Drew who calls the Rams games on the radio and also does analysis for NFL.com ranked his top-15 running backs heading into Week 13. Jones-Drew put Williams in his top-15. Here’s what the former Jacksonville Jaguars running back had to say,
“The Rams have re-designed their run game to rush more downhill, which fits what Kyren Williams did at Notre Dame. It’s no surprise the second-year back is finding success behind a much-improved offensive line. Williams, who has great vision, burst and contact balance, is continuing to get better as the season progresses. After missing four games with an ankle injury, Williams had his best performance Sunday with a career-high 204 scrimmage yards in the win. He was phenomenal, making big gains with his legs and as a pass-catcher on screen plays. This is what the Rams need from their RB1...Kyren Williams’ career outing — 204 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns — against the Cardinals helped the Rams improve to 4-1 against NFC West opponents. Though he didn’t play in Weeks 7-11, Williams has logged at least 150 scrimmage yards in consecutive games — a good sign for this Rams team moving forward.”
Williams’ stock has certainly risen over the last month given his prediction. Since Week 4, among running backs with at least 50 attempts, Williams ranks second in the NFL at 6.4 yards per attempt. He also ranks third in yards after contact. In the weeks that he has played since Week 4, Williams is fourth in missed tackles forced.
As @Nate_Tice has been saying, duo is the most successful run concept this season. Rams run a lot of it and do a lot of things off of it..— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) November 30, 2023
Havenstein and Dotson moving bodies. Helps to have a WR that can block like Nacua. pic.twitter.com/fBayFAEQnK
The Rams running back still has some room to grow as a receiver, but if Sunday showed anything it is that he is more than capable. Is that enough to be a top-15 running back? Williams certainly has the potential, but will need to continue to show consistency. Three 100-yard games in his last four starts is a positive development in that regard.
The Rams running game has lacked consistency ever since Todd Gurley injured his knee in 2018. There have been stretches in which the run game has looked good, but it has never been a true threat like it was early in McVay’s tenure. With six games remaining in the season and the Rams in the playoff hunt, they will likely need to rely on Williams to continue to help spark the offense. We’ll see if the third-year running back can carry Los Angeles to the postseason.